A public meeting for area residents interested in the Kick Start Alma project is set for Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. in the Alma Community Building.
Alma was chosen in June as the University of Central Arkansas Community Development Institute 2017 Kick Start community, a cooperative program between UCA and the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Breakthrough Solutions Program.
At the Sept. 19 meeting, CDI and extension office representatives will share a report that covers Alma’s “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats” and share what community members can expect throughout the process, according to the Kick Start Alma Facebook page.
An advanced year CDI team traveled to Alma in early August to tour the city, meet with local leaders and various “action teams,” and begin work on a plan to help Alma with economic growth.
Alma Mayor Keith Greene addressed the importance of the meeting in a letter to action team members.
“This will be a very important meeting in the CDI process,” Greene said. “We will be introduced to how the outside world views and thinks about Alma and the potential we have for future growth and development - the good, the bad and the ugly.”
The advance year CDI team will meet with Alma leaders monthly through May to help with the creation of a five-year strategic action plan, to be unveiled in May 2018.
Results from a recent public survey distributed throughout the area asking for feedback on the city will help inform that plan, as well as observations from the CDI team and input from the local action teams.
Included in the CDI team are Shannon Hills Mayor Mike Kemp; Morrilton Mayor Allen Lipsmeyer; Gould Mayor Essie Dale-Cableton; Lorie Robertson, Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority marketing; and Lisa Johnson, president of the Bossier, La., Chamber of Commerce; and Mark Peterson, a University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension professor who serves on the CDI Advisory Board.
Regional partners such as the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority and the Western Arkansas Planning and Development District are taking part in the process to help create a support network for Alma.